These could be Jay Gruden’s final days as head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Stephen A. Smith revealed Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take” that Gruden will be fired next week after the Redskins host the New England Patriots this Sunday at FedExField.
Washington has made the playoffs only once since Gruden’s hiring in 2014, and things aren’t looking too promising this season. The ‘Skins will enter their Week 5 game against the Pats with an 0-4 record, making them one of six winless teams across the NFL.
“I’m gonna tell you both what I’ve been hearing: Jay Gruden is going to get fired next week,” Smith said. “Is it definitive? One cannot say that because (Redskins owner) Daniel Snyder doesn’t have a history of letting a coach go in-season. … Daniel Snyder knows what everybody else knows: Jay Gruden has quit on the Washington Redskins. Everybody in the building knows it. They expect him to be fired. He expects to be fired. And it is a foregone conclusion as to whether or not that’s gonna happen — he is gone. The question is going to be: When?
“I was told (Monday night) that because the Patriots are up next, you don’t want a replacement — some interim dude — coming in and taking over the team, and then they’ve gotta go up against the Patriots. You play the Patriots, after you play the Patriots, then I think it’s Miami that’s up next, and that might be a better situation for you as a new head coach. But Jay Gruden knows he’s gone. Everybody knows he’s gone. It’s just a matter of time, when Daniel Snyder will pull the trigger. But (Monday night) was the first time I had heard this could very well happen next Monday, after a predicted loss at the hands of the New England Patriots.”
Gruden, now in his sixth season as Washington’s head coach, has compiled a 35-48-1 record to this point. The Redskins have been consistently mediocre during his tenure, evidenced by their back-to-back 7-9 campaigns on the heels of going 8-7-1 in 2016. Washington’s only playoff berth under Gruden came in 2015, when the Redskins won the NFC East with a 9-7 record and lost to the Green Bay Packers in the wild-card round.
To be fair, the Redskins have been plagued by significant injuries in recent years, even losing quarterback Alex Smith last season after Washington started the year with a 6-3 record. Gruden has done little to mitigate such misfortune, though, and thus it might be time for a changing of the guard, especially after he threw rookie QB Dwayne Haskins into the fire in Washington’s 24-3 loss to the New York Giants in Week 4.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images